Medical cannabis opponents are fond of promoting many myths and misconceptions about the herb. Here are the facts.
Medical cannabis is too dangerous to recommend as a medicine
The cannabis plant and its biologically active constituents, known as cannabinoids, possess an impressive safety profile compared to other conventional therapeutic agents. According to the National Academy of Sciences, Institute of Medicine, marijuana possesses an estimated dependence liability of less than ten percent. (Others have acknowledged that pot’s true dependence potential is likely even lower.) This percentage is approximately the same as anxiolytic drugs like Xanax and Valium and far lower than that of many other licit prescription drugs or recreational substances, like alcohol (15 percent) and tobacco (32 percent).
Moreover, unlike the active compounds in many conventional prescription medicines, cannabinoids are relatively non-toxic to fully developed healthy cells and organs. Cannabis also possesses no lethal overdose potential. As acknowledged by no less than the DEA’s own administrative law judge, “Marijuana, in its natural form, is one of the safest therapeutically active substances known to man.”